Monday, May 14, 2007

A Parent's Worst Nightmare

I received a call at 11:00 PM tonight. Everyone who knows me knows I'm one of those people who doesn't like receiving phone calls after 9:30 in the evening so when the phone rings at that late hour, it had better be important. It was. The caller was the mother of one of my daughter's high school classmates and she wanted to speak to my daughter. Every mother knows that if you receive a late night phone call concerning your child's classmate, something is wrong. I let my daughter speak with her in the hope that perhaps she had some information that might prove helpful.

Apparently the young lady had stepped out of the house after returning from school and had not returned. To make matters worse, she had left her cell phone behind so there was no way to reach her. I didn't speak to the mother much myself but I didn't have to. Nothings grips your heart and feeds the worst nightmares you can imagine than not knowing if your child may have come to some harm. I knew exactly what this woman was feeling. I felt it as acutely as if the child had been my own.

The thought crossed my mind, "There but for the grace of God go I". I looked at my child and said a silent thank you that she was safe at home with me, secretly grateful that she was still around to vex me with her teenage attitudes and outrage. Since receiving that phone call, I have been inwardly agonizing over this missing child whom I don't even know, praying that she will return safe and sound. Needless to say there will be two mothers who won't get much sleep tonight; the one who called my home and the one who answered the call.

Ballo ergo sum,

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